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Mayans

Mayan Art of the Tattoo

Mayan Art of the Tattoo

Mayans practiced many forms of body modification, including deforming a baby’s skull to create a pleasingly elongated shape, fostering crossed eyes, filing teeth, inlaying jade into a tooth, piercing and tattooing. The Mayans did this to be pleasing to the gods, for...
Mayan Symbols

Mayan Symbols

Symbols carry the heart of every culture, and every culture’s symbols represent its inner reality to the people of that culture. Symbols can be anything, a gesture, a song, a phrase or an image. They often carry many layers of meaning that everyone in the culture...
Mayans at War

Mayans at War

For many years, archeologists thought the Mayans a peaceful people, capable of war, but rarely indulging in it. However, as archeologists explored more Mayan cities and more evidence was uncovered, they realized that Mayans often fought wars, especially during the...
The Mayan Calendar

The Mayan Calendar

What we call the Mayan calendar is actually a set of three interlocking calendars, the sacred calendar of 260 days called the Tzolkin, the solar calendar of 365 days known as the Haab, and a Long Count calendar of much longer time periods. When the Mayans inscribed a...
Mayan Cultural Achievements

Mayan Cultural Achievements

When we think of the Mayans and their culture, what comes to mind? The first thing that would occur to a reader would be the astonishing Mayan cities in the jungles of Central America. Other readers would mention the fascinating Mayan calendar and the predicted end of...
Overview of Mayan Art

Overview of Mayan Art

The 700 years of the Mayan Classical saw a great flowering of Mayan art. Stone carvings became ubiquitous throughout the Mayan region. The Mayan covered buildings and pyramid stairways with depictions of rulers and hieroglyphic writings. They also created thousands of...
The Mayan Pantheon: Gods and Goddesses

The Mayan Pantheon: Gods and Goddesses

With between 166 and 250 named gods, the Mayans had a complex and changeable pantheon. They had gods to oversee every human action and aspect of life: gods for birth and death, for the ball game and gambling, for travel and traders, for pregnant women and infants, for...
Mayan Religion and Cosmology

Mayan Religion and Cosmology

Much of the Mayan religion is not clearly understood today because of its complexity and rich pantheon of deities. Scholars have been able to decipher some of the major elements of Mayan religion, but other elements may never be known. Cosmology To the Mayans, the...
Features of Mayan Cities

Features of Mayan Cities

Mayan architecture spanned over a thousand years. Many cities contain similar features such as stepped pyramids, temples, palaces and carved stone monuments, but not all of them contain every one. Each city is different, as the Mayans built to accommodate the natural...
Mayan Societal Collapses

Mayan Societal Collapses

While most readers are aware of the more famous collapse of the Classic era, an earlier Mayan collapse preceded it during the Late or Terminal Pre-Classic era. The reasons for the earlier collapse remain as murky as those for the later, but both emptied out great...
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